By MALUM NALU
Newcrest Mining chief executive Greg Robinson says its US$5 billion Golpu project in Morobe province, to be run jointly with Harmony Gold of South Africa, will be its big “change”, The National reports.
He told the Papua New Guinea Advantage 2012 investment conference on Monday that the project – estimated to start in 2019 - would cost US$5 billion and another US$5 billion would be poured into the country over the next 10 years.
“I think that Morobe (Golpu) will be the change for us as we work with our partner, Harmony,” Robinson said.
“It’s a US$5 billion investment that we start work on in 2019.
“Ultimately, we will spend another US$5 billion over the next 10 years.
“There is enormous opportunity.
“That’s going to be a very significant investment for us
Australia's Newcrest, which jointly owns the Golpu mine with Johannesburg-based Harmony, said last week that new exploration work pointed to revised reserves estimates of 5.4 million tonnes of copper and 12.4 million ounces of gold.
This is an increase of 4.7 million tonnes of copper and 11 million ounces of gold compared with previous estimates provided by the companies.
The mine could start producing by 2019, pending results of more studies and various approvals.
The firm will also conduct a study later this year into a neighboring deposit called Wafi.
Papua New Guinea holds the rights to buy up to 30% of any mineral discovery at Wafi and Golpu.
Newcrest, which controls the Lihir gold mine in New Ireland province, also runs the Hidden Valley gold mine in Morobe province in a 50-50 venture with Harmony.
Robinson said while many mines around the world had short life spans, PNG mines tended to have longer life spans.
“A lot of major developments come with short life, “he said.
“The average life of a deposit is around 10 years.
“The tendency in PNG is that there are very large deposits and they are very long life.”
Robinson, however, pointed out that PNG competed with the global market for investments.
“I think we are lucky, fortunately,” he said.
“PNG competes with the global capital market for investments.”